After a slew of consumer product scandals in China, confidence in e-commerce is wilting. While e-commerce initially piqued the curiosity of Chinese shoppers interested in purchasing products from overseas, interest has fallen flatter than expected as consumers endured wait times as long as 20 days to receive their items. Yet neither of these factors has stopped them from turning to online retailers for staples such as home care and grocery products.
Much like a traditional marketplace (or eBay), many e-commerce retailers in China rely on middleman and C2C selling to garner buyers. After safety scandals over infant products and toothpaste, the supply of these items online decreased, and they were available only at exceedingly high prices.
Enter Kaola.com, a Chinese online shopping portal that sells items from multiple parts of the world with the promise of quick shipping times as well as product authenticity. Its cross-border strategy appeals to many Chinese families who are in constant need of essentials like diapers, formula, cleaning products, and more from the health and home sections.
This introduction of safe, authentic, and accessible products has also opened a doorway of opportunity for online sellers in China: fresh food. Just as Amazon was once only used to buy the odd novelty item or gift and now sells virtually everything, the path to universal e-commerce is approaching quickly for China.